Here's The Quickest Way To Judge How Clean A Restaurant Actually Is

It's Friday night and instead of going to your usual Thai spot around the corner, you decide to check out that place downtown that just opened up. But no matter how rave the reviews are or how "trendy" it may seem, trying out a new restaurant can be a risky endeavor. Will you like the food? Will the prices be fair? Will the atmosphere be welcoming or will it be too noisy or too quiet? Will the service be good? Most importantly, will the restaurant be clean?

We have all heard horror stories about kitchens overrun with rats or roaches, strands of hair found in dishes, and chefs or servers with less-than-acceptable hygiene standards. Yuck. But unless you read it in a review or hear it from a trusted source, how are you really to know how clean a dining establishment is? Here's the best way to judge if a restaurant is clean enough to eat at, or whether you should stay far, far away.

Check out the bathroom first

You may not be able to venture into the kitchen, but you can venture into the bathroom — and according to Eat This, Not That, that's the next best thing in terms of checking out the restaurant's cleanliness. "If the bathroom is spotless and has a sign for employees to wash their hands, then you know the kitchen is in good shape," the publication explains. "If the bathroom is questionable, you should probably head out of there."

Esteemed chef and Momofoku founder David Chang agrees. "The key is... cleaning the bathroom toilet," he said in an interview with Eater. "If they care about that... rest assured everything will be taken care of." A survey by USA Today found that almost a third of customers will not return to a restaurant if the bathroom does not live up to their standards, whether it's a dirty toilet, messy countertop, or smelly stalls — and we could not agree more.